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Meet Randi Bost, M.S. '92, Advocate for Speech-Language Pathology
Meet Randi Bost, M.S. '92, Advocate for Speech-Language Pathology

Randi Jartun Bost, M.S. ’92 earned her master’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from PSU. Since earning her degree, she’s built a career as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), specializing in early childhood assessments. Now, Randi is one of the department’s most active alumni, participating as an advisory board member, externship supervisor for current PSU graduate students, and as an active member of SLPs Advocating for Bilingualism in Oregon (SABOR). 

Can you describe some of your past professional experiences as an SLP?

I’ve always enjoyed working with children and wanted to make early childhood the focus of my career. My first experience in an early childhood setting was with Screening Kids Informing Parents (SKIP) screenings, a Portland Public Schools program. We went to Head Start programs in high-risk neighborhoods and worked as a part of a team with other health professionals and medical students. I really enjoyed the experience.

I then moved into a year-long temporary position to sub for an SLP on sabbatical, but I knew it would be a good opportunity. The site served teen, adjudicated moms. We evaluated the babies, but also the moms. I loved that. It was such a great team, and I learned a lot. 

How did you get involved in SABOR?

I got interested in SABOR because my father was Norwegian. I have always been in a home where I heard two languages. The complexity of bilingual evaluations just felt comfortable to me, familiar in a way.  

What do you enjoy about supervising graduate students in an externship setting?

I like the energy of students who are new and excited about their career, because I am still excited about my career! I also think about the people who mentored me when I was getting started and the impact they had on me. I want to relay the good ideas and encouragement that I received to new students just entering the profession.

What do you think makes a good supervisor/mentor? 

Be flexible and listen. A student needs to feel comfortable around you and know that if they make a mistake, that it’s ok—it will be a learning experience.

What is one of your favorite memories of your experience as a grad student at PSU?

The learning curve is quite steep as a graduate student and I recall the humor and patience of my first clinical supervisor, Mary T. Withers. I will never forget that during one of my first clinic sessions, I was working with a young boy on his language skills. He usually never left his family’s side, but that day, he sat in the clinic room with me and played a board game. I won several rounds in a row. Despite this, he seemed to really enjoy himself. After my session, Mary T. complimented me on my work, but reminded me that I needed to let the little boy win next time. This memory makes me laugh and appreciate how much we learn at so many levels from our mentors.